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Financial Flash Newsletter

June 2016 Edition

June is Homeownership Month!  

Homebuyer ProgramDon't let the complex and intimidating process of buying a home stop you from realizing your dream! Take the first step by signing up for our comprehensive Homebuyer Program. We combine education and counseling so you can build financial knowledge/tools for budgeting, saving, improving credit, to realize your dream of buying a home. Wherever you are in the homebuying process we'll provide the support you need to reach your goal of homeownership.

For inspiration, check out the podcasts of Money Matters shows that feature local professionals who describe different stages of buying a home (listed below under the Money Matters section). Special thanks for Homebuyer Program sponsorships from Asheville Savings Bank, HomeTrust Bank, and Mosaic Lifestyle Realty; program funding from Mission Health System and The Biltmore Company; and grant support from The CFWNC Asheville Merchants Fund, PNC Bank, and United Way. Learn more about Buying A Home

 

Another Great Year for OnTrack WNC's Free Tax Prep Program...

Tax Volunteers2016 was another successful year of our Free Tax Preparation Program with 1,002 returns completed for total refunds of $747,893. The average household income for our tax clients was $23,057 and, because our service is FREE, each client saved $200 - $400 in tax preparation fees. This important work would not be possible without the dedication, time, and energy of our fabulous VOLUNTEER tax preparers and the sponsorships and grant support! Find out more...

And the Winners Are...!  

Board SuperstarsAt the May Board of Directors' meeting we celebrated board members Vicki Banks,VP with The Biltmore Company, and Bill Carrington, Regional Director of Self-Help Credit Union, as the Board Superstars. In this annual contest board members earn points toward their "Credit Score" by supporting OnTrack WNC programs, using connections to expand the agency's opportunities, securing program/event sponsorships, and being ambassadors for OnTrack WNC. Congratulations and thanks to Vicki and Bill who both earned 2,230 Credit Score points to win the coveted bobble-head Board Super Star Trophy!

Summer Money

It's summer and for most of us that means a shift in our expenses. To keep the summer from blowing up your money plans, consider these expenses and links to resources. If you have an idea you'd like to share, email us at and watch for your ideas in a future addition of the Financial Flash!

- Temperatures are rising and your electricity bill might be too. Check out summer energy saving tips from the US Department of Energy.
- US News offers 10 Tips for Summer savings on everything from food to potluck parties to home improvements to clothes and travel.
- Looking for summer fun for your kids without breaking the bank? Intuit TurboTax has 5 Money Saving Tips for Kids. 

Of course, the need to save money isn't limited to summer. America Saves has 54 Ways to Save.

In-The-News

New matched-saving grants to pull people out of poverty
 Asheville Citizen-Times, June 13, 2016 

Community Foundation Announces Grant Awards
Mountain Xpress, June 9, 2016

OnTrack WNC Offers Free Budgeting 101 at Asheville Library 
Asheville Citizen-Times, June 8, 2016

Women in real estate swing hammers for Habitat
The Mountaineer, May 7, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the May/June program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

MAY:
May 7th: What do fly fishing, finances and veterans have in common? Find out from Ryan Harman, NC Coordinator for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and financial advisor with Edward Jones.

May 14th: Dreaming of an epic vacation? Celeste Collins shares tips for planning and saving for that special trip!

May 21st: State Farm Agent, Bill Russell, offers important information for changing home insurance if you move and great tips on car insurance, awareness of impaired drivers, and items to include in your car emergency kit.

May 28th: The Memorial Day Weekend show includes highlights of the 2016 Financial Literacy Luncheon and a smorgasbord of fun and funny money anecdotes.

JUNE:
June 4th: Jill Sparks, AB Tech Small Business Center & Business Incubation, explains the important small business programs and services available and gives an overview of the "Rock the World Shape the Future" Women's Business Conference on Thursday, June 30th.

June 11th: Dream of owning your own home? Good news:  Jonathan Stansell, OnTrack WNC's Homebuyer Programs Manager, provides information about our Homebuyer Program and Fair Housing, which will inspire you to take steps toward homeownership! 

June 18th: Mortgage Loan Experts Jennifer Duvall, VP, Asheville Savings Bank, and Jill Dotson, Loan Officer, HomeTrust Bank explain what impacts your ability to qualify, steps to be ready for your application, and mortgage programs that can make your homeownership dream a reality.

June 25th: Finding the right home is an important step. Hart Dahlhauser, Real Estate Broker - Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, shares tips for working with real estate professionals and finding the perfect home.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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2016 FACES of OnTrack WNC - Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon Highlights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again our annual Financial Literacy Luncheon was a huge success. On May 20th nearly 200 people gathered at the Crest Conference Center & Pavilion to support OnTrack WNC's mission and recognize the 2016 Award Winners: Community Financial Literacy Partner Award: Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP; Credit Where Credit Is Due Award: Self-Help Credit Union; and the Volunteers of the Year: Cathy & David Brown.


In addition, we recognized three 2016 Clients of the Year:

  • Patricia Waters, the Face of Determination;
  • Rhonda Kensinger, the Face of Enthusiasm; and 
  • Carmen Govea, the Face of Triumph.

Thanks to sponsorships, ticket sales and in-kind contributions, the Financial Literacy Luncheon was financially successful raising over $42,000. Thank you to everyone who contributed, sponsored and attended!
 

Click here to read more about the event and our award winners.

Click here to visit our Financial Literacy Luncheon photo gallery.  

 

OnTrack WNC 2015 Annual Report
Highlights Program and Financial Performance 

2015 Annual Report

Click on image above to see our full 2015 Annual Report. 
Make a Donation Today to OnTrack WNC!

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April 2016 Edition

Financial Literacy or Financial Capability? 

financial capability month
OnTrack WNC has been integrating the Financial Capability model into our programs by helping clients create and commit to meaningful action steps to realize goals. What, you might ask, is the difference between Financial Literacy and Financial Capability? 
- Financial Literacy refers to skills and knowledge that allow a person to make informed and effective decisions with all their financial resources.
- The Center for Financial Inclusion defines Financial Capability this way, "Financial Capability is not just what you know, but whether you have the willingness, confidence, and opportunity to act."

Simply put: Financial Literacy = knowledge + skills + wise decision-making. Financial Capability = financial literacy + action/behavior change + access to appropriate products.

Click the graphic above or listen to the April 16th Money Matters podcast to learn more about the Financial Capability Lifecycle and how our needs, goals, and opportunities change in various ages and stages of life.

Gain Financial Capability with an OnTrack WNC Class!

mom and daughterCheck out our upcoming classes and call today to register 828.255.5166. Thanks to our exclusive Adult Financial Literacy sponsor, HomeTrust Bank, our classes are offered free of charge. Come for a class and build skills to balance your budget, deal with debt, manage your money, improve your credit score and super-charge your savings.

Don't miss the chance to VOTE for OnTrack WNC in the HomeTrust Bank 90th anniversary nonprofit competition. Vote everyday and tell your friends! Your daily votes in April mean money for our agency!

HomeRun: Coaching for Homeownership 

Homerun Client QuoteIn 2009, OnTrack WNC was selected by the U.S. Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to receive a multi-year demonstration project grant. The program focused on helping very low-income household move from rental housing to become "homebuyer ready" through budgeting, credit improvement, saving, and paying down debt.

In the five-year grant period, 68 households participated. Of those households, 24 (35.3%) purchased a home and 6 (8.9%) qualified for a mortgage but had not yet purchased when the program ended December 31, 2015. The HomeRun program provided vital data nationally to use in assessing matched savings program, combined with financial education, counseling and coaching is a winning design. Full Program Report

SheVille Helps Promote the 2016 Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon 

ShevilleBecause SheVille believes that viable non-profit programs are essential to a healthy community, it is providing in-kind media sponsorship for our OnTrack WNC's 2016 Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon! Thank you SheVille!

The event is Friday May 20th at the Crest Conference Center & Pavilion. The morning seminar (10:00 - 11:15 a.m.) features Caroline Farmer, Deputy Director NC Attorney General's Office and her topic: Elder Financial Abuse: Detection & Prevention. The Awards Luncheon begins at 11:30 with lunch following. Tickets will be available to reserve online next Wednesday April 20th.

Raise Money for OnTrack WNC Without Spending a Dime!

Your vote for OnTrack WNC helps us win the HOMETRUST nonprofit competition for charitable dollars! Please vote everyday in April! Click here and choose us in HomeTrust's Buncombe/Henderson region. We appreciate your support!!

In-The-News

Asheville bank giving away $90,000 to community groups
Asheville Citizen-Times, April 4, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR

Here is the April program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am.Podcasts are available here 

April 2nd: How can IRAs help you save for retirement and maybe save on taxes? Rachel Tanksley, Starks Financial Group, talks about types of IRAs, dollar cost averaging, and retirement planning mistakes to avoid!

April 9th: Norma Messer, President of The Better Business Bureau serving Asheville and Western NC discusses facts, stats and warning to protect yourself and your children from the latest identity theft scams.

April 16th: Special guest, Kate Griffin, Vice President of Program from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), shares insights about the Financial Capability Lifecycle and CFED initiatives that make it possible for millions of people to achieve financial security and contribute to an opportunity economy.

April 23rd: OnTrack WNC's Mortgage Payment Program counseling team, Amanda Orders and Kathryn Beach overview the eligibility and access to this important assistance which pays mortgage payments for people experiencing temporary financial hardship, such as unemployment.

April 30th: We'll end Financial Literacy Month will a two-fer show. In the first half Christine Dozier and Paul Heathman share highlights of HomeTrust's 90th anniversary, the nonprofit competition (Click here to vote for OnTrack WNC!), and its commitment to financial education. Part two includes a preview of OnTrack WNC's 2016 Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon on May 20th at the Crest Conference Center and Pavilion. Learn more here.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  

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March 2016 Edition

NEW DATE: Save The Date! OnTrack WNC's Annual Financial Literacy Luncheon - Friday, May 20, 2016

Mark your calendar TODAY! Watch your mailbox in April for our invitation.

Morning Seminar: 10am - 11:15am
Luncheon & Awards: 11:30am - 1:00pm

 

 

State Farm® Presents $30,000 in Grant Support

State Farm check presentationOn Saturday March 12th, State Farm Agents Judy Stroud, Bill Russell,Tabatha Hamlin (pictured left) and Kim Conyers, State Farm® Public Affairs Community Specialist were guests on OnTrack WNC's Money Matters radio show. In addition to participating in the radio show, they presented Celeste Collins with a $30,000 check from the State Farm® Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant program.

This grant will support OnTrack WNC's weekly radio program, Money Matters, and the Women's Financial Empowerment Center and the annual Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon. The State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship grants fund programs that build safer, stronger, and better educated communities.

Nationwide Financial Literacy Initiative:
OnTrack WNC + Libraries

OnTrack WNC and two library systems are joining forces to offer FREE financial education classes in 2016. The classes are part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's nationwide initiative which capitalizes on the unique role of libraries as places where people go for community and for information.These financial education opportunities are open to the community and there is no charge to attend.

Buncombe County LibraryThe Buncombe County series kicks off with Understanding Credit which will be held on Thursday March 24 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the Pack Memorial Library at 67 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Click here to see the complete workshop schedule for Pack Memorial Library.

Transylvania County LibraryThe Transylvania series begins with Preventing Identity Theft on Thursday, April 7 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm. The class will be held at the Transylvania County Library at 212 South Gaston Street in Brevard. This financial education opportunity is open to the community and there is no charge to attend. Click here to see the complete workshops schedule for Transylvania County Library. 

Top Tips for Spring Cleaning for Your Finances

Spring cleaning is for more than closets and dresser draws! To inspire and motivate you to give your money life a little TLC, click here for a sampling of Spring Cleaning Tips from:

 1. Suzee Orman
 2. US News & World Report
 3. LearnVest
 4. My Credit Union.gov
 5. OnTrack WNC

 

Protect Your Identity ~ FREE Shred Day 
Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM  

Just in time for spring cleaning: Shred Day! The Better Business Bureau (BBB), OnTrack WNC, and American Security Shredding are once again teaming up to offer a free document shredding day on Saturday April 16th from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. What should be shredded? Old tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, medical records, and insurance information. Anything that contains confidential and/or identifying information. Check out this IRS / BBB document retention schedule for ideas on what you can get rid of! Bring up to 50 pounds to the BBB's office at Executive Park - College Street parking lot in Asheville and take an important step to protect your identity.

 

In-The-News

CC Communications Creates a Customized Mobile Website for OnTrack WNC
CC Communications, March 2016

OnTrack WNC Launches 2016 Financial Education Classes March 24 at Pack Memorial Library
Mountain Xpress, March 9, 2016

OnTrack WNC Financial Education & Counseling Co-Sponsors Buncombe County Candidate Forum
Mountain Xpress, February 29, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the March program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

March 5th: With a special focus on small business this show featured local resources Tommy Dennison, Business Development Officer with The Support Center and Sandra Dennison, General Business Counselor, with the Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC)

March 12th: State Farm representatives (pictured above) shared important tips for minimizing risks. They also presented OnTrack WNC's 2016 Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant award. Thank you State Farm®.

March 19th: Cindy McMahon, Senior Consultant with WNC Nonprofit Pathways discusses the impact of nonprofits in our region and her organization's programs available to strengthen these valuable resources.

March 26: Money Matters host Celeste Collins helps you turn your spring cleaning into cash with tips for effective yard and consignment sales. 
 
Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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February 2016 Edition

It's Tax Time Again!

Tax Volunteers

Tax Volunteers: Jack Laughlin, Barry Paperno,
Ali Schuetze, Jessica Stavish and Charlotte Kaplan.

Now that January 31st has passed you should have all the documents you need to file your taxes. Click here for Top Ten Tax Time Tips straight from the IRS. 

The OnTrack WNC Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site kicked off free tax services with a team of 15 dedicated, kind, professional, IRS-trained volunteers, and 1 Spanish language interpreter, led by Molly Coffey, OnTrack WNC's Tax Project Coordinator. Since 2007 our VITA site has helped more than 4,500 taxpayers complete and file taxes to receive over $6.1 million in refunds and credits.

Our tax site would not be possible without our amazing sponsors Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP and NC Association of CPAs, plus grant support from The Community Foundation of Western NC and the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. Thank you!

 

FAFSA Day - Saturday February 20, 2016

CFNC.orgFAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It's a form used to determine a student's eligibility for financial aid. On FAFSA Day College, Saturday February 20th, College Foundation of NC will team up with college financial aid officers and other volunteers at sites throughout the state to provide assistance in completing the form. The program is open to students who plan to attend college in the 2016-17 academic year. Click here for more information and a map showing the location in your county. 

 

Save The Date! OnTrack WNC's Annual Financial Literacy Luncheon - Friday, May 6, 2016 

FLL table settingMark your calendar TODAY! Watch your mailbox in April for our invitation.

Morning Seminar: 10am - 11:15am

Luncheon & Awards: 11:30am - 1:00pm

 

 

 

 

Bringing It Home

 

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR

Here is the February program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

February 6th: If you want to understand the basics and the importance of life and disability insurance, you'll want to listen to tips and insights from Tabatha Hamlin, State Farm Agent.

February 13th: Wondering what to give your special someone for Valentine's Day? How about a healthy relationship with money? Sara Bensman, of Sara Bensman Mediation and Consulting shares common pitfalls and solutions for navigating our relationships and money.

February 20th: Self-Help Credit Union WNC Regional Director, Jane Hatley and Kimberly Hunter SHCU Advisory Board Member, share exciting information about the upcoming "Bringing It Home: Building a Local Economy for Everyone" on Tuesday March 15th. To learn more and register www.bringingithomewnc.org

February 27th: It's time to think about how to Plan, Apply, and Pay for college with the help of Laura Misner, College Foundation of NC. Learn about this wonderful FREE resource available to all North Carolinians.

  Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

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January 2016 Edition

Let Us Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions!

 New Years ResolutionsFinancial goals for 2016? Check out these targeted programs:
 $ Pay Down Debt - Schedule a FREE appointment with an OnTrack WNC financial counselor for a debt assessment to create a plan to pay down your debt.
 $ Improve Credit - OnTrack WNC's FREE Credit Class is offered weekly in Asheville and is a great first step on the path to better credit.
 $ Buy a Home - Gain knowledge about the process, create a personal Homebuying Action Plan, and have the support of OnTrack WNC's housing counselors in our Homebuyer Program
$ Manage Money and Credit Better - Click here for our
 Education Schedule.

 

End of Year Giving Total

 

Tax Refund - Save To Win! 

Tax Save to WinWe are excited to announce that after a successful pilot of the "Tax Refund Save to Win Program" in 2015, long-time Tax Project sponsor, Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLC is, once again, providing the exclusive sponsorship. This initiative provides incentives to OnTrack WNC's tax clients who agree to save $500 or half of their tax refund (whichever is less). The goal is to help people establish savings. Please note that this program is only available to people who have their taxes prepared by OnTrack WNC.

Learn more about our Tax Save to Win Program.

 

 

 

Ask A CPA Day - Huge Success!

ncaCPA logoOn Saturday January 9, 2016 Certified Public Accountants from the Western Carolina Chapter of the North Carolina Association of CPAs offered FREE professional advice on taxes, deductions, accounting, small business recording keeping, and more.

We are grateful to the local CPAs who volunteered their time to offer 44 appointments throughout the day. This annual event is coordinated by Ed Fidelman, CPA, who was inspired to offer this service after volunteering to help victims of hurricane Katrina.

One client who came in for an appointment emailed to say, "I just wanted to say how happy I am that I made an appointment for Ask A CPA Day! The gentleman I spoke with was a perfect match for the questions/issues I had and I left OnTrack WNC very encouraged and with more answers than I expected. Thank you, Mr. Bennett, and thank you, OnTrack WNC!"

 

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the January program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

January's shows feature resources, tips and information to help YOU in 2016!

January 2nd: Would you like to MAKE and KEEP a new year's resolution about money? Have you ever connected DIET resolutions with FINANCIAL resolutions? Celeste Collins makes the connection and shares ideas and tools to use with your money in 2016. OnTrack WNC's education classes could be the catalyst you need! 

January 9th: Financial, credit, budget and housing counseling as well as education can help you reach your goals in the new year. This Money Matters show makes it easy learn more about OnTrack WNC's programs for homebuying, getting out of debt, improving credit and managing your money, plus options for debt consolidation.   

January 16th: Anthony Jimenez, OnTrack WNC Financial/Housing Counselor & Educator offers tips and tools for your journey toward homeownership and gives the highlights of local employer-sponsored matched savings programs.

January 23rd: Susan Lupton, Senior Policy Associate with The Center for Responsible Lending explains North Carolina's strong history of consumer protection and the urgent Call To Action to provide the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with input about Payday Lending as it develops policies for regulating this industry. 

January 30th: Rachel Tanksley-Russell, Starks Financial Group, introduces their 2016 Savvy Women series. These quarterly educational presentations will be offered throughout the year starting with the topic "Financial Transitions" on Thursday February 11th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm. For more information go here.  

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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2015 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

2014 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

 

United Way NFCC Council on Accreditation